Dear Mentor:

How can I transition from biochem to biotech?

The Web page is very impressive and informative. I am a fresh doctorate in Biochemistry from Mumbai University, India. I am very much interested in pursuing a career in Biotechnology. Although I don't have any expertise in Biotechnology, I would like to inquire how I should embark on this career. Please reply to me at the earliest. Thanking You.

Biochem to Biotech, Mubai, India

Dear Biochem to Biotech:

We thank you for your kind comments about our website. We are dedicated to our mission to help people achieve success, and it is gratifying to learn that we ourselves are being successful.

Biochemistry and biotechnology share the part "bio" but not the rest, meaning that the expertise in two areas has overlaps but also significant differences. As you know, biochem is the study of chemical substances and processes that occur in plants, animals, and microorganisms as they undergo changes during life. It leverages the techniques of analytical, organic, and physical chemistry, as well as those of physiology concerned with the molecular basis of vital processes. Biotech, on the other hand, deals with the application of advances made in the knowledge, techniques, and instruments of research in the biological sciences.

The bottom line is that a PhD in biochemistry is a terrific background for a career in the biotech industry. In fact, one might say it is almost a prerequisite to have a PhD in biochem, chemistry, molecular biology, etc. to be successful in this industry. We are not sure whether you interested in pursuing a scientific career or a business career; however, PhDs are highly valued on the general management side of biotech as well as on the technical side.

The biotech industry breaks out into those companies that are developing new drugs (so called "product" companies) and those companies that are developing new tools/technologies to be used by drug companies (so called "tools" companies). A biochemist could be helpful in various aspects of the early phases of drug discovery/development, i.e., during the target identification and validation, lead identification and optimization, and preclinical testing. Also, your scientific background can be very helpful on the business side of a biotech company, where you could assist with business development, commercial development, and even finance. A good website to begin investigating the biotech industry is This website has job listings and general information on various biotech companies.

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